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1 year Anniversary in September

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2017


I lost my darling boyfriend to melanoma last September.  His time from diagnosis to death was an astonishing 2 months.  I believe that I was mercifully numb for the first few months.  What followed, and what lingers is a very deep sadness that leaves me feeling exhausted and hollowed out.  

I try to focus on gratitude.  I am aware that there are people who have not experienced a minute of what we had for ten years.  I am grateful that I was able to take a leave and care for him at home before he died, and for how our intimacy was heightened in grappling with his body pain - he had bone marrow cancer in his hips and pelvis - and I am also grateful that we were able to prepare him spiritually for his journey. 

But, I am just so sad without him.  I long to hold him and to talk to him.  I have a hard time accepting what happened to the happy life we shared.  Some days I wake up and look around, and wonder what happened to my life.  I am disoriented, and have a hard time staying organized.  I lose my keys a lot.  :)   I know that I am very fortunate.  My children, family and friends have been incredible.  Joe was loved by so many people, and they stayed by me then, and now.  

I want to move toward greater acceptance so that I feel better.  I know that this is what he wants for me, and certainly what I would want for him if I had been the one to go.   I want to move forward in a way that honors both of us.  The path so far has been really jagged.  I will be doing ok, and then suddenly I am back in a state of deep grief.  I started on an anti-depressant, and I think it is helping some. 

As the first anniversary of his death draws near, I am thinking through a way to care for myself and get through this in a way that honors our love and helps me to accept things as they now are.  

I would be interested in hearing about how others got through the first anniversary.  I know that many out here are grieving, and I am so sorry for your losses.  





Posts: 65
Joined: Jun 2017

Please let me know, I lost my Karen in May. Although, I'm beginning to cope better the pain never subsides. When I hear that you are still feeling the pain after a year it makes me uncomfortable knowing that I'm going to be in the same boat. You should think about finding a Spousal loss group. It helps knowing that there are others who are feeling the sameway that you are and you can talk about amongst yourselves, it's good therapy. Also, there is a website called Soaring Spirits that helps me by reading blogs from others who have had a partner pass. I hope in time you are able to cope better. There will alwyas be good days and not so good days. There will always be triggers. I was not much of a religious person before she died but her passing has strengthened my faith. I know I will see her again I just have to believe it.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2017

Hi, Joseph,

Thanks for the suggestions.  My boyfriend's name was Joe.  :)  I don't think the pain ever stops, but I think and I believe that it changes, or we change and learn to carry it differently.  Sometimes it is hard to believe that I am coming on a year. I have a friend, a woman I met at his life ceremony who approached me and asked if we could spend time together.  She is going on three years without her husband.  We compare notes.  It is really helpful and we both agree that a beautiful friendship blossomed out of loss.  

Don't be discouraged.  Your loss is so recent, and I am sorry. It sounds like you are doing some really good things for yourself.  Take care and thanks so much for responding. 



Posts: 506
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Chris, I'm sorry for your loss.  My husband passed away 11/2/14.  The first year is HARD.  My husband passed away on my mother's birthday, bittersweet for me.  On the first anniversary of his death (was also my mother's 90th birthday) I took the day off and spent several weeks researching something memorial to do on that date.  I decided on a tattoo, something I never thought I would do (I am 55).  I got a butterfly tattoo on 11/2/15 with one wing being my husband's finger print and the other wing being my fingerprint.  My niece went with me and kept me calm.  It did not really hurt, it felt like a bee sting over and over but I felt his strength.  It felt like a sunburn for a few days and it actually has some texture to it so I rub it when I'm feeling sad or missing him and think I'm touching his fingers.  I also went to the nursing home to take my mother some chocolate cake and flowers on that day.  She was asleep and did not wake up while I was there.  Dates like these anniversaries, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, etc. I feel like doing things alone, not with any other family or friends.  Lately I have felt like I'm forgetting things before and after his death.  I used to gauge things in my life "before he died" or "after he died" but even though it's been less than 3 years, I am forgetting.  I have also missed him very much the last few weeks.  My mother passed away 7/9/17 and I really would have liked him to be with me during those sad days surrounding her death.  Thankfully my best friend happened to be here visiting from another state and she stayed with me until after the funeral.

On my husband's first birthday in heaven, my kids and grandkids launched some of those chinese lanterns with messages on them at a friend's house on a large lake nearby.  We had his favorite dessert and the adults drank his favorite rum.  The second year was easier for me.  I went to a bereavement group within a few weeks of his death and that was great for me.  It was a group of 5 widows at that time, we laughed together, cried together, shared our lives and grief.  I will always love those women.  After about a year I sought out one on one counseling and that helped me greatly also.  I had quite a bit of unresolved anger towards several people, including my husband.  My therapist helped me work it out and get past it.  I could tell him all our dirty little secrets, which was freeing to me.  I was lucky in both the group and therapist I saw that helped me deal with my grief and anger.

I still work full time and that has halped keep me busy too.  I still have 'grief bursts" and imagine I always will.  I have seen many signs recently, feathers, birds, etc. so I'm hoping they are signs of strength from my husband and signs of love from my mother.  I have been on an anti-depressant for about 4 years now, it helps me so my doctor said to stay on it.

I hope you find some peace and comfort in the months ahead.


Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2017

Thank you, Linda!  One theme that is coming up for me is self care.  I was up with him 24/7for about 5 weeks, because he had so many needs through the night. At one point, I told him that I had made an executive decision and was going to get a pedicure.  One of his sisters was with him while i went. He was delighted, and it was so nice to have someone care for me.  We laughed about it, and he oohed and ahed at the color I chose.  We were lucky to have lots of time to talk about a lot of things before he died.   I remember he told me that I was getting the raw end of the deal. I think about that at times now, knowing he is out of pain and I know, know he is well.  I am sometimes ok but mostly very sad and tired.  

The anniversary is on a Monday in September.  I might splurge and do a spa day on Saturday.  He has a farm about an hour away where I buried him, and I am thinking I will go to the farm Sunday and see the grave.  We used to sleep in one of his barns, in a rediculously soft hay bed that he made for us.  I slept there the day I buried him, and I think I will do that again.  I know that he would like to see me pamperng myself through the anniversary.  I saved some of his ashes, and want to float them down his favorite river, which is adjacent to the farm.  

I guess after the anniversary, I get back to adjusting. It is so odd to have life shift so dramatically and completely.  

Thank you for your kind words, Linda.  


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